I’m going to preface this by saying I am in no way an expert or a medical professional. This is a result of me doing research on blogs, Wikipedia and any medical journals I can get my hands on to understand what is happening with my body. This is all my personal experience, not a how-to guide.
The visible part of our skin is called our epidermis and it is comprised of several smaller layers. The outermost level is the stratum corneum, and it’s commonly known as the moisture barrier. Comprised of dead cells held together by lipids, it’s main function is to form a barrier that protects the body from bacteria and infection.
Once I understood that I realised that my oily skin could be attributed to my moisture barrier being compromised (probably due to my over exfoliation) as to repair itself my body began to over produce a substance called sebum. My skin would struggle to correct itself, and I would strip it of oil using harsh products and I would begin to feel my skin being tight and dry as well as oily. As a result of that I classify my skin as being Oily/Dehydrated.
So how am I repairing my Moisture Barrier? Simple answer? I ditched my face scrubs and started cleansing with oil! And why oil do I hear you say? Well..
This wasn’t my first try with oil as a cleanser. I tried pure oil and I saw an improvement with OCM in my sebum production but the oils I was using were doing more harm than good so I stopped. So when I stumbled across an Asian Skincare routine that had prepackaged oil I set out to find something that could work for me. Luckly, Boots were having a 3 for 2 promotion and as I had to return something, I thought I’d use the opportunity to get L’Oreal’s Skin Perfection Cleansing Oil. I pump twice, massage the oil into my dry skin and then towel off with a microfiber cloth.
My skin saw an instant significant reduction in oil from the very first day. Better still, my skin stayed that way all day, even with other products layered on. I was amazed. While my skin wasn’t matte, I can now classify my skin as dewy rather than pizza. Which is pretty awesome!
In order to make sure the oil is removed from my face, I double cleanse. I don’t have one method of double cleansing, it really depends on how much time I have, and how my skin is feeling.
Even though I ditched my harsh scrubs, I still missed them. There’s something nice about physically exfoliating your skin, so I had to find something that was gentle enough to give me that scrubby feeling without doing any damage to my barrier.
They are sponges made from vegetable fibre that are designed to cleanse and gently exfoliate skin. The one I bought from Superdrug comes dehydrated, but I’m told you can buy them pre-hydrated. To use, you just put them in water for about 10 minutes for them to fully hydrate and turn into a gel like sponge. So soft and hydrating, it’s almost like washing your face with jelly! I used to use it with a foaming cleanser, but now I just use water.
At first I thought these were a gimmick, but the name comes from micelle which are tiny oil droplets suspended in water. I initially bought this as a makeup remover, but I’ve found it to be very hydrating and non stripping so I alternate this as my second cleanser.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Toner
I have this as a travel sized bottle, so it’s handy for when I’m going to be out and about. It isn’t as hydrating as the micellar water, but it is also non stripping.
Muji Cut Cotton Pads
Technically these are tools, but I use them mostly for cleansing. These are the most superior cotton pads I have ever ever use. It feels like I’m cleansing with a cloud, it is so soft! I find it hard to use any other type of cotton pad. They’re not just soft, they also are amazing because they don’t absorb all the liquid. They kind of just suspend them for transfer onto your face.
So that’s the first step of my skincare routine, the all important cleanse. I’ve found that as I’ve perfected this stage, it’s made the other products I use so much more effective. The first step for me was understanding what my skin type was and why it was that way which made finding the right cleansing routine for me so much easier!